Dow Chemicals deny responsibility for Bhopal tragedy

Dow Chemicals deny responsibility for Bhopal tragedy

New Delhi: Dow Chemicals, the US based company that acquired the assets of Union Carbide Corp, has said that it cannot be held responsible for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, and called attempts to affix responsibility to the company “inappropriate and misdirected."

The response came immediately after reports suggested that a Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into all issues relating to the Bhopal gas leak disaster would try to establish the liability of the company.

Pointing out that the GoM have not issued any formal public report on their recommendations, Scot Wheeler, spokesperson of Dow Chemicals, in an email response to Mint said, “There are some who continue to try to fix responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy to the Dow Chemical Company, but the fact is that Dow never owned, operated nor inherited the facility in Bhopal."

Wheeler added: “Efforts to attached Dow are inappropriate and misdirected."

According to a top Indian government official who attended the five sessions of the GoM, the government plans to pursue a case to claim financial compensation from Dow Chemicals.

Dow acquired the international assets of Union Carbide Corp., the parent of Union Carbide India Ltd, in 1999. Union Carbide Corp. had, in 1994, sold its Indian assets to Eveready Industries India Ltd. An executive at the Indian arm of Dow directed queries to the US parent, representatives of which couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.